Globalizing the History of Colonial Medicine and Public Health: Adding Latin America and the Caribbean

Recent years have witnessed growing scholarly attention to the history of colonial medicine and public health in Latin America and the Caribbean, but researchers in this field have remained largely isolated from each other and from historians working on colonial medicine in other parts of the world. This workshop brought together scholars working in various parts of colonial and neocolonial Latin America to facilitate a broader, more global conversation on the topic. The goal was to identify shared themes, useful approaches, and common problems and so to enrich the scholarship on all colonial and neocolonial contexts.

Day One

8:00am - Welcoming Remarks

8:30-10:00 - Steven Palmer (University of Windsor), "Cuba's Pasteurian Culture and its Introduction to the United States"

10:00-10:15 - Coffee Break

10:15-11:45 - Adrián López-Denis (Brown University), "Colonial Medicine, Atlantic History, and the Place of Latin America"

11:45-12:30 - Lunch Break

12:30-2:00 - Gabriela Soto Laveaga (University of California Santa Barbara), "A Medical Revolution Complete with a White Army: Medical Social Service and Rural Physicians in the 1930s"

2:00-3:30 - Gilberto Hochman (Oswaldo Cruz Foundation-FIOCRUZ), "Salted Connections: National and International Health Agendas in Brazil (Rural Endemic Diseases, 1940s-1960s)"

3:30-3:45 - Snack Break

3:45-5:15 - Paul Ramirez (Washington University), "State Ethnographies, Science, and Smallpox Scabs: Promoting Preventive Medicine in New Spain, 1779-1804"

Day Two

8:30 - Arrival

8:45-10:15 - Diego Armus (Swarthmore College), "Tuberculosis and Regeneration: Imaginary Cities, Green Spaces, and Hygienic Housing in Buenos Aires, 1870-1950"

10:15-10:30 - Coffee Break

10:30-12:00 - Mariola Espinosa (Yale University), "The Question of Racial Immunity to Yellow Fever in History and Historiography"

12:00-12:45 - Lunch Break

12:45-2:15 - Adam Warren (University of Washington), "From Natural History to Popular Remedy: Animals and their Medicinal Applications among the Kallawaya in Colonial Peru"

2:15-3:45 - Pablo Gómez (Texas Christian University), "The Circulation of Bodily Knowledge in the Seventeenth Century Black Spanish Caribbean"

3:45-4:00 - Snack Break

4:00-5:30 - Julia Rodriguez (University of New Hampshire), "Argentina's 'World of Tiny Social Members': Children, Medicine, and the Fate of the Nation"


This workshop was generously sponsored by the Section of the History of Medicine at the Yale School of Medicine, with the support of the History of Science and Medicine Program of Yale University. It was also supported by the Center for Latin American and Iberian Studies at the Whitney and Betty MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies with funding from the U.S. Department of Education under HEA Title VI for international, area, and foreign language studies.